Neena at Clingstone

Neena at Clingstone

Thursday, January 15, 2015

What the hell I did all last year to the Sanpiper 32 "Neena"

Some information on the work done so far.
Replaced 1/4 " plywood on the insides of the cabin trunk. The old plywood was pretty tired with water damage from port leaks. First, I removed the 8 Beckson 5x12 opening ports, then I removed the damaged ply which was basically held up by the ports. Using the old pieces as patterns, I made new ones (4) primed and painted then tacked up in place followed by the rebuilt ports, bedded in silicone.
Pulled various pieces of deck hardware that leaked, mainly several stantion bases and the mid ship hatch hinges. These I rebedded with various goops. I also am trying what I call dum-dum, to bed stantion bases. It's this tape used to seal vacuum bags, we'll see. I really dislike using boat life and sikaflex, not to mention 52 million. My mission was to get rid of all leaks! So far, so good.
Next up was ripping out the plywood soles and bunk fronts which all had water damage. I then cleaned up the areas exposed and painted as needed. Some of the bulkheads in way of the bilge board trunks we're pooched, so I scarphed in new 1" ply with epoxy and mat. I built new sole bearers out of fir and epoxied them to the sole with limber holes etc. After borrowing t&g router cutters from my buddy Pete Cassidy over at Buzzard's Bay Yacht Services, I milled out a bunch of white pine flooring about 2 1/2 "'s wide and laid sole in two sections, fore cabin and aft cabin, with lift outs to access what bilge I have. I love the smell of pine and as this is a fiberglass boat, I also oiled the sole with deck oil which is a mix of linseed oil, pine tar,
turpentine and japan drier.
Next came new bunk fronts out of painted 3/8 ply with pine cleats, all screwed with ss screws. In the barn during the coldest weather I'd been scraping old varnish off all the various pieces of teak trim and then sanding and treating with lemon oil. I put back all these pieces and a few new ones with screws, brads and some glue. Things we're starting to look a whole lot better below, under the winter cover.
Ed Van Kuren at BBYS designed a simple two battery electrical system built around two AGM batteries I bought off my brother in law. It uses a Blue Seas batt. switch and panel. All I have to do is turn the switch on when I board and turn it off when I leave. The system automatically takes care of the two batteries! I also installed a circuit for a solar panel to trickle charge while away from the boat. Some day when I can afford it , I'll install a monitor but for the way we use the boat this simple system is fine. All this stuff got installed port side aft under the bunk and above it in the shelf.
Other work done, new shaft, coupling and rebuilt Max Prop. Two new bronze ball valve seacocks, rebuilt installed plastic seacocks and one former seacock hole glassed over. Engine cleaned and repainted, filters cleaned etc. It was a happy day when I first fired up the Yanmar, which started first try! This after 30 odd years fighting with old Westerbekes!
Some fun stuff was finding a used tiller/rudder head fitting and making an ash tiller and repurposing an old 12 1/2 tiller I had, to fit. Very difficult removing the old rudder head fitting but a wheel puller, heat and oil plus time, did the trick. I also pulled the strut and rudder, injected some epoxy mixed with graphite powder as a new rudder bearing in the old fiberglass rudder tube at it's base.
As spring turned into summer, I pulled off the bowsprit and installed a new one with an anchor roller held in place with oar lock sockets. Pulled off rub rails, stripped the teak and buffed the topside paint till it was shiney again then put back the rub rails with new self tappers. Next came stripping all the teak on deck, toe rails, hand rails, coamings etc. of old varnish, sanding to 120 and leaving it bare! never to have to be dealt with again!
Then rig work, replacing a halyard and one shroud and then figuring how to set up the sticks to be raised in the back yard with help from my son Robbie, what fun! Rigging the booms, working out the sheets etc.
Finally on to bottom work, sanding and painting, boot top and then with help from my brother in law Bob and his neighbor's son Stevie, we got the trailer under the boat which took almost two days of jacking around then over the road to Swansea and a crazy launch which broke my new bowsprit! Finally a short motor to her mooring only to discover some trunk leaks. My wife Phoebe suggested I beach the boat, which I did(difficult to accept the concept of driving onto the beach!) at high tide in the evening of a perfect calm full moon night. Next day I worked on the leaks and glued up the bowsprit and in the evening floated off with my kedge and re moored.
This was early August and we spent the next several months sailing "Neena" around Narragansett Bay and doing a few overnighters, getting used to her ways. What a great boat, very handy, surprisingly stiff and fun to sail. I'm going to add reefs to the sails this winter and rework the main sheet to a barney post to make her happier.
I dropped the bilge boards to overhaul the pivots and to fix a leak in the port side trunk. Some galley improvements are also in the mix as well as a better gasket on the cockpit sole engine hatch.
Instead of using her trailer I've sold it and I'll hire the hauler to pick me up and put me in at the ramp. Sorry boat yard, I don't need you guys anymore.
Another job is to build yet another bowsprit! this time out of oak instead of fir. Also we want to move the boarding gate from the port side to the starboard, where it should be.
Can't wait till spring!


  1. Bro, Congrats on this boat despite all of the work needing to be done. Great design. Love Monroe's designs and have built one of Joel White's interpretations of Egret. Am also a skinny water sailor although I have thousands of blue water miles under my various keels. Several things about your reconstruction have caught my attention and I might suggest that you consider using well dried pressure treated yellow pine for anything that will be down low where it might sit in water, or behind any bulkhead or other such surface that will be covered and not well ventilated. If you stack it with weight on it somewhere until it is dry it is a good wood for holding onto fasteners and is much more rot resistant than Doug Fir. Once well dried it will take most adhesives and we have used it in all of my various boatbuilding shops and classes for framing members with success. The drying is done because, as you probably know, it does warp unless it is well fastened in place until it is so and few things will stick to it until then. The stock that has been processed into decking is generally a full 4/4" which is usually large enough for any use you have aboard Neena. I've also steered my boatbuilding students and boat repair clients away from using Silicone caulk of any sort aboard their boats because it acts as a contaminant on any surface where it has been applied. It is not a dependable bedding compound and once it has let go it makes repairs with other compounds also very prone to failure because they cannot stick to the now contaminated area. Cleaning it off takes a lot of abrasion and you must constantly change the abrading material (sand paper or whatever) else you'll drive the contamination into the scratches you are making. And while I am sure I've overstayed my welcome with all of this advice, if you must use the white pine for your cabin sole you might want to consider using one of the better penetrating epoxies on the underside before you put it down. White pine needs all of the help it can get when it comes to rot prevention. Anyway, good luck with the project. I'm going to start looking around for a sister ship....;o) Roger Allen

    1. Roger, Yer right about that doug fir, Yellow pine would have been better. I doused the white pine pretty heavily with "deck oil" which is linseed oil, pine tar and turps. So far so good, as I had lots of it on hand and I love every thing about it. As a matter of fact I'm currently building a pergola out of locally sourced rough cut white pine. Thanks for the input. we're off on a three week cruise come Monday.

    2. Roger, Yer right about that doug fir, Yellow pine would have been better. I doused the white pine pretty heavily with "deck oil" which is linseed oil, pine tar and turps. So far so good, as I had lots of it on hand and I love every thing about it. As a matter of fact I'm currently building a pergola out of locally sourced rough cut white pine. Thanks for the input. we're off on a three week cruise come Monday.